A Quick Guide to Numbers in Spanish | My Daily Spanish
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A Quick Guide to Numbers in Spanish

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numbers in Spanish

This article is going to focus on numbers! Clearly, they’re an important part of any language, and are used every day, including for talking about dates, times, ages, prices ... the list goes on!

Let’s get the formalities out of the way first: Spanish numbers are either cardinal numbers or ordinal numbers. Don’t worry, it’s simpler than it sounds! 


Cardinal numbers are just, well, numbers. For example ‘one,’ ‘five,’ ‘200.’ Ordinal numbers are similar but used for saying the position of something, e.g. ‘first,’ ‘fifth,’ ‘200th.’

Pronunciation

  • We’ve added a pronunciation guide, but hearing the numbers spoken by a native is also super important, to make sure you’re doing it more or less right!
  • The apostrophe at the beginning of a syllable means that you put the emphasis on that syllable.
  • Where we’ve given two options, the first one is generally the Latin American pronunciation, and the second is generally used more in Spain. This arises where the letter ‘c’ is, in some words, pronounced as ‘s’ in Latin America and ‘th’ (as in ‘thanks’) in Spain:
Cell

Latin America/Spain

0 = cero

’seh-roh/’theh-roh

Cardinal Numbers in Spanish

So, to learn how to count, we need the cardinal numbers.

Clearly we’re not going to list every single number from 0 to 1,000 or 1,000,000 or beyond! Luckily, we have patterns that mean you only have to learn the small numbers (and the big multiples like ‘hundred’ and ‘thousand’ in order to be able to figure out how to say any number.

Let’s start with 0-20:

0

cero (’seh-roh/’the-roh)

1

uno* (’oo-noh)

2

dos (dohs)

3

tres (trehs)

4

cuatro (’kwah-troh)

5

cinco (’seehn-koh/’theehn-koh)

6

seis (’seh-ees)

7

siete (see-’eh-teh)

8

ocho (’oh- choh)

9

nueve (noo-’eh-beh)

10

diez (dee-’ehs/dee-’eth)

11

once (’ohn-seh/’ohn-theh)

12

doce (’doh-seh/’doh-theh)

13

trece (’treh-seh/’treh-theh)

14

catorce (kah-’tohr-seh/kah-’tohr-theh)

15**

quince (’keen-seh/’keen-theh)

16***

dieciséis (dee-ehs-ee-’seh-ees/dee-eth-ee-’seh-ees)

17***

diecisiete (dee-ehs-ee-see-’eh-teh/dee-eth-ee-see-’eh-teh)

18***

dieciocho (dee-ehs-ee-’oh-choh/dee-eth-ee-’oh-choh)

19***

diecinueve (dee-ehs-ee-noo-’eh-beh/dee-eth-ee-noo-’eh-beh)

20

veinte (’beh-een-teh)

* The number one is uno. However, if you want to say that you have one of something, you use un for a masculine noun, and una for a feminine noun! For example, ‘Tengo un hermano y una hermana.’ (‘I have one brother and one sister.’)

** You may have heard of a celebration called the quinceañera that’s celebrated in parts of Latin America and parts of the US. It marks a girl’s 15th birthday, and, as you can see, comes from the word quince (‘15’) and the word año (‘year’)!

*** The words for 16, 17, 18, and 19 are pretty smart. They come from mashing together words. For example, 17 comes from blending together the words diez y siete (‘ten and seven’).

Okay, let’s move on to 21-30:

21*

veintiuno (beh-een-tee-’oo-noh)

22

veintidós (beh-een-tee-’dohs)

23

veintitrés (beh-een-tee-’trehs)

24

veinticuatro (beh-een-tee-’kwah-troh) Enter your text here...

25

veinticinco (beh-een-tee-’seehn-koh/beh-een-tee-’theehn-koh)

26

veintiséis (beh-een-tee-’seh-ees)

27

veintisiete (beh-een-tee-see-’eh-teh)

28

veintiocho (beh-een-tee-’oh-choh)

29

veintinueve (beh-een-tee-noo-’eh-beh)

30

treinta (’treh-een-tah)

With the twenties, we carry on blending words together, e.g. veintidos (‘22’) comes from veinte y dos (twenty and two).

* We mentioned earlier that uno becomes un or una before a noun. It’s similar with 21, 31, and so on: 

Tú tienes veintiún plátanos. Yo tengo veintuna manzanas. (‘You have 21 bananas. I have 21 apples.’)

Now, let’s look at the 30s:

31

treinta y uno (’treh-een-tah ee ’oo-noh)

32

treinta y dos (’treh-een-tah ee dohs)

33

treinta y tres (’treh-een-tah ee trehs)

34

treinta y cuatro (’treh-een-tah ee ’kwah-troh)

35

treinta y cinco (’treh-een-tah ee ’seehn-koh/ ’treh-een-tah ee ’theehn-koh)

36

treinta y seis (’treh-een-tah ee ’seh-ees)

37

treinta y siete (’treh-een-tah ee see-’eh-teh)

38

treinta y ocho (’treh-een-tah ee ’oh-choh)

39

treinta y nueve (’treh-een-tah ee noo-’eh-beh)

40

cuarenta (kwah-’rehn-tah)

In the thirties, we still do a little bit of math, but we don’t need to worry about mashing words together now! For example, 35 is simply treinta y cinco (‘thirty and five’).

The same rule applies for the 40s, 50s, all the way up to and including the 90s!

Now you know that, you just need to get to 100 in multiples of 10, so let’s look at 10-100, to recap the earlier ones and advance up to higher numbers:

10

diez (dee-’ehs/dee-’eth)

20

veinte (’beh-een-teh)

30

treinta (’treh-een-tah)

40

cuarenta (kwah-’rehn-tah)

50

cincuenta (seen-’kwehn-tah/theen-’kwehn-tah)

60

sesenta (seh-’sehn-tah)

70

setenta (seh-’tehn-tah)

80

ochenta (oh-’chehn-tah)

90

noventa (noh-’behn-tah)

100

ciento* OR cien* (see-’ehn-toh/thee-’ehn-toh) OR (see-’ehn/thee-’ehn)

When you’re counting to 100, you can use either ciento or cien. When we’re using it to count a noun, it has to be cien. 

For example,

I have a hundred puppies.

Tengo cien perritos.

When we’re using numbers from 101-199, we have to use ciento:

102

ciento dos (see-’ehn-toh dohs/thee-’ehn-toh dohs)

132

ciento treinta y dos (see-’ehn-toh ’treh-een-tah ee dohs/thee-’ehn-toh ’treh-een-tah ee dohs)

160

ciento sesenta (see-’ehn-toh se-’sehn-tah/thee-’ehn-toh se-’sehn-tah)

Next, we’ll look at the hundreds, from 100-900.

100

ciento OR cien (see-’ehn-toh/thee-’ehn-toh)  OR (see-’ehn/thee-’ehn)

200

doscientos (dohs-see-’ehn-tohs/dohs-thee-’ehn-tohs)

300

trescientos (trehs-see-’ehn-tohs/trehs-thee-’ehn-tohs)

400

cuatrocientos (kwah-troh-see-’ehn-tohs/kwah-troh-thee-’ehn-tohs)

500

quinientos (keen-ee-’ehn-tohs)

600

seiscientos (seh-ees-see-’ehn-tohs/seh-ees-thee-’ehn-tohs)

700

setecientos (seh-teh-see-’ehn-tohs/seh-teh-thee-’ehn-tohs)

800

ochocientos (oh-choh-see-’ehn-tohs/oh-choh-thee-’ehn-tohs)

900

novecientos (noh-beh-see-’ehn-tohs/noh-beh-thee-’ehn-tohs)

Some of them are just counting hundreds, e.g. cuatrocientos is a joined-up version of cuatro cientos. How many hundreds? Four hundreds. Others (500,700, and 900) are a tiny bit different because what would Spanish be without exceptions to the rules?!

Now for the big ’uns! Let’s look at 1,000-1,000,000,000!

1.000*

mil (meel)

10.000

diez mil (dee-’ehs meel/dee-’eth meel)

100.000

cien mil (see-’ehn meel/thee-’ehn meel)

1.000.000 (a million)

un millón (oon mee-’yohn)

1.000.000.000 (a billion)

un billón (oon bee-’yohn)

* Interestingly, with Spanish numbers, commas are used when in English we’d use decimal points, and vice versa. So the English ‘5.5’ (five and a half) translates into Spanish as 5,5! And it works the other way round, too. The English 2,000 (two thousand) translates into Spanish as 2.000!

How to say your age in Spanish

In English, we use the verb ‘to be’ when it comes to age. In Spanish, we use ‘to have.’

The word for ‘year(s)’ is año(s). That little squiggle on the ñ is super important. If you skip it, you’re talking about how many anuses you have. You have been warned.

I am 21 years old.

Tengo veintiún años OR Tengo veintiuno.

María is 69 years old.

María tiene sesenta y nueve años.

Ordinal Numbers in Spanish

As we mentioned at the start, ordinal numbers are used for stating the position of something.

First of all (see what I did there?!) let’s look at 1st-20th:

first

primero OR primer* (pree-’meh-roh) OR (pree-’mehr)

second

segundo (seh-’goon-doh)

third

tercero OR tercer* (tehr-’seh-roh/tehr-’theh-roh) OR (tehr-’sehr/tehr-’thehr)

fourth

cuarto (’kwahr-toh)

fifth

quinto (’keen-toh)

sixth

sexto (’sehks-toh)

seventh

séptimo (’sehp-tee-moh)

eighth

octavo (oc-’tah-boh)

ninth

noveno OR nono (noh-’beh-noh) OR  (’noh-noh)

tenth

décimo (’deh-see-moh/’deh-thee-moh)

eleventh

undécimo (oon-’deh-see-moh/oon-’deh-thee-moh)

twelfth

duodécimo (doo-oh-’deh-see-moh/doo-oh-’deh-thee-moh)

thirteenth

decimotercio OR decimotercero (deh-see-moh-’tehr-see-oh/deh-thee-moh-’tehr-thee-oh /) OR (deh-see-moh-tehr-’seh-roh /deh-thee-moh-tehr-’theh-roh)

fourteenth

decimocuarto (deh-see-moh-’kwahr-toh/deh-thee-moh-’kwahr-toh)

fifteenth

decimoquinto (deh-see-moh-’keen-toh/deh-thee-moh-’keen-toh)

sixteenth

decimosexto (deh-see-moh-’sehks-toh/deh-thee-moh-’sehks-toh)

seventeenth

decimoséptimo (deh-see-moh-’sehp-tee-moh/deh-thee-moh-’sehp-tee-moh)

eighteenth

decimoctavo (deh-see-moc-’tah-boh/deh-thee-moc-’tah-boh)

nineteenth

decimonoveno OR decimonono (deh-see-moh-noh-’beh-noh/deh-thee-moh-noh-’beh-noh) OR (deh-see-moh-’noh-noh /deh-thee-moh-’noh-noh)

twentieth

vigésimo (bee-’heh-see-moh)

* primero becomes primer before a masculine singular noun, and the same happens with tercero-->tercer.

Note that the Spanish ordinals all end in -o, which is simpler than English (we have ‘-st’ and ‘-nd’ and ‘-rd’ and ‘-th’ to choose from)!

Instead of writing out whole words, in English we often use those last letters with the figure. We do the same in Spanish. The last letter is always o (or a, to agree with a feminine noun).
1st1o
2nd 2o
3rd time3a vez
106th cookie106a galleta

Now things get a bit simpler (you’re welcome). We’ll look at 21st-100th:

twenty-first

vigésimo primero OR vigésimo primo

twenty-second, etc.

vigésimo segundo, etc.

From this point you just put the two words together, e.g. 20th (vigésimo) and 7th (séptimo) –> 27th (vigésimo séptimo)

Let’s go up in multiples of ten from 10th-100th:

tenth

décimo (’deh-see-moh/’deh-thee-moh)

twentieth

vigésimo (bee-’heh-see-moh)

thirtieth

trigésimo* (tree-’heh-see-moh)

fortieth

cuadragésimo (kwah-drah-’heh-see-moh)

fiftieth

quincuagésimo (keen-kwah-’heh-see-moh)

sixtieth

sexagésimo (sehk-sah-’heh-see-moh)

seventieth

septuagésimo (sept-oo-ah-’heh-see-moh)

eightieth

octogésimo (oc-toh-’heh-see-moh)

ninetieth

nonagésimo (noh-nah-’heh-see-moh)

hundredth

centésimo (sehn-’teh-see-moh/thehn-’teh-see-moh)

* 31st, 41st, etc. all have the same two options as 21st.

Now onto the really big ones (1,000th-1,000,000,000th):

thousandth

milésimo (mee-’leh-see-moh)

millionth

millonésimo (mee-yohn-’eh-see-moh)

billionth

milmillonésimo (meel-mee-yohn-’eh-see-moh)

Quiz time!

Write out the following numbers in words (in Spanish!). Take your time with this one, and try to figure them out using the patterns we’ve shown you.

1. 14

Click to reveal the correct answer:

2. 152

Click to reveal the correct answer:

3. 800 female nurses

Click to reveal the correct answer:

4. 1.003

Click to reveal the correct answer:

5. 1994

Click to reveal the correct answer:

6. 20.000

Click to reveal the correct answer:

7. 5th

Click to reveal the correct answer:

8. 20th

Click to reveal the correct answer:

9. 38th

Click to reveal the correct answer:

10. (I can’t control myself. I just ate my) 102nd cookie!

Click to reveal the correct answer:

Amazing work!

If you’re new to Spanish numbers and made it through that quiz, then I really applaud your effort!

There are some numbers that you’ll use more frequently than others, but it’s good to know the patterns so when you see any number written down, you have the knowledge you need to figure out how to say it out loud! 2,935,096? No problem 😉

About the Author Annabel Beilby

Annabel is a language-enthusiast from the UK. She studied Spanish and French at the University of Southampton (with an Erasmus study year in Madrid!) and recently graduated. She has interests across the Spanish-speaking world, and is a fan of language in general.

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